OWNERS of a parade of shops have been “terrorised” by a gang of youths who they claim have threatened and attacked them.
Kirti Patel, who works at Chalvedon Supermarket, in Chalvedon Square, Basildon, with owner Varsha Patel, said they have had enough of the yobs.
In the latest incident on Sunday, a member of their staff was left with a badly injured finger after the gang tried to steal his bike.
They claim the youths often come into the shop and instead of queueing to pay for items, throw money down on the counter and run off.
Erol Caliskan and Ucler Harman, who are looking to open a Turkish restaurant next door, say they have been so intimidated by the incidents, they may not open.
Mr Harman said: “We haven’t been able to open yet as they say they will smash the shop windows.
“I was attacked by them as well - two of them held me while one of them hit me with nun chucks.
“I was on the floor. There were 15 of them.
“They said I shouldn’t have come to this country and I should go back to my own country.”
He added that the staff at the Six Dragon Chinese takeaway, which is on the same parade, had also had similar incidents and was considering not renewing its lease.
Kirti Patel said: “On Sunday, the youths threw live frogs into the take-away.
“They had to close up early because of it.
“They are the only shop open until 10pm and they are now closing at 8pm because they are so scared.”
Sgt Rob Maile of the Basildon community policing team said police were aware of the issues in the area. He said: “The areas of Mill Green and the retail area are being targeted as there has been lots of antisocial behaviour there. We are increasing patrols and working with the council to manage the youths responsible.”